These days, I probably design as many library rooms and home offices as I do kitchens. There has been a return to or perhaps a craving for the academic feel and touch of books. I personally find libraries, both private and public, to be pure sensory power on so many levels. The feel and smell of books is hypnotic, the stories that surround you are pure potential and the knowledge they hold are solid leverage. Whether you have a collection of antique books or today’s best sellers, why not exhibit them as their true art? Why not display them as valuables within the home?
Today’s library rooms typically fall into two categories: a library, which is also the media room, or a library which dually serves as an office. Rarely do I see all three at once. I mention this in following the last blog about not combining the home office with the kitchen. So, too, does the logic follow that a library which is to serve as the home office should not be the family’s media center. Let the electronic buzz of one not be confused with the soothing, studied solitude of the other. At a minimum, design it such that the media center can be hidden behind doors so that the quiet hush of a university library can imbue the space.
Finally, don’t think for a minute that these libraries need be dark and masculine. Most of my clients are women and they have me design spaces that are powerful displays of intellect but also the physical landscapes of their quiet, reflective natures.